Foreclosure in San Francisco>Question Details

Richard Barn…, Home Seller in San Francisco, CA

I would appreciate an answer to my question. My fiance and I own two expensive lofts style properties in

Asked by Richard Barnes, San Francisco, CA Mon Nov 5, 2007

I was appoached by a gentleman who calls himself a short sale specialist. He is certainly a smooth talker. We had a lengthy conversation, and he assures my fiance and I that he can certainly short sale both of our properties, and I am 100% positive that he stated there will be no fees up front. He met with us the other night and instructed us to quit making our payments. Just tonight I received an email from him stating that we each need to pay him upfront one months mortgage for each property so he can pay his staff and the credit repair service. That is a total of $7,000.00 up front. This is a surprise to me being he clearly stated there were no up front fees. I have done my research and see no indication of this being common practice. Does this sound typical to you?

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I am a real estate agent here in San Francisco. What you have described is not standard practice. Anytime you are giving money to someone upfront without too much set for services, you are probably doing something wrong. Get some peace of mind, consult a lawyer. Also get this guy's real estate license number and check the DRE website to see if he even has a valid real estate sales license, or if he has ever had it revoked. Short sales are simply a term for a method of selling the home short of what the mortgage value is. It functions pretty much as a standard sale, and agents don't get paid unless the property is sold. You may want to outlay an improvement, or conduct a professional inspection, in which there is a case in where you'd spend money on getting those services; but you shouldn't have to pay anything to the agent. DON'T STOP PAYING your payments. Anyone with a license who states that to you should have a complaint filed against their license. I'm including a link to the DRE license search site. If you don't find his/her license, then it may not exist.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2007
He is a smooth talker alright. If you stop paying your mortgage you will trigger a default, credit tanks and you are off on your way to either a modification of the loan or forclosure. A short sale involves none of the above. You may be hit with a tax bill but the property gets sold for less than the loan and you can move on. keep paying your mortgage and contact a realtor with one of the reputable brokerage houses and just ask if the agent has experience with short sales. The more short sales the better. There are not many agents with this experience. Most stay away from them, myself included however I am learning. I do know an agent who was doing short sales as far back as 2001 so I know she is experienced. Whoever you choose they will guide you and will be compensated witha commission. If you go the other route mentioned above once you modify your loan or even go to forclosure then you can begin the process of repairing you credit which can be done in some cases in as short as 3 years. I hope this helps. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 4, 2009
Richard,

Please notify the DA. Real estate has been burdened by shady folks who do shady deals for too long. In fact the nation has suffered enough.

If you propose to sell short you'll need an agent, hopefully that agent will use a third party that specializes in the interminable negotiations and communications with your lender but some few do handle the whole deal. Some title companies provide services to handle short sale logisitics - talk with the agents and listen, listen to their responses.

The point about not making any more payments is because lenders will not consider short sales until the loan is significantly in arrears.

Sorry that you met a scoundrel. Hope you can help get'em.
Web Reference: http://realtz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
Richard--Please don't pay any money to anyone. If you are in financial distress and are considering pursuing short sales, contact a knowledgeable, experienced and licensed Realtor in San Francisco to talk about your options. Many of us in the Trulia community are top notch and would be great to consult. Far better than the individual who approached you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
Hi Richard,

This most certainly appears to be a scam. There should be no need to pay any fees up-front. Contact a local Realtor as we are the ones who can help sell property (and work on contingency rather than retainer).

The same applies to those Property Tax Reduction "specialists." Do not pay fees in advance for this. Contact your local City tax assessor.

For San Francisco property tax reductions, visit: http://www.sfgov.org/site/assessor_index.asp?id=101593 .

Good luck with this situation and let us know if we can help.

Cheers,
Danielle
Web Reference: http://www.sfhotlist.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 19, 2009
Hi Richard,

You should not pay upfront. The Short Sales Specialist will earn a commission at the close of escrow. Ask him to pay the credit repair 30 days after the short sales and your moving truck fees as well :)

For more information about short sales and your various foreclosure options please visit
http://www.foreclosureoptionsnetwork.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 16, 2009
No No No! It should NOT cost you money up front to short sale a home! I am in the Bay Area, I own the company below, and I am happy to consult with you FREE of charge. If I agree to short sale your home, here are no upfront fees. You may also have other options available to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 26, 2009
Cindi Hagley,…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Anybody charging you upfront to short sale your house is looking to rip you off. You need to find someone that will work in a profit on the backend. If someone request money upfront either they are new or don't feel confident they will get you the results and don't want to waste their time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 26, 2009
Scam a lam a loo! Run! Don't walk.
Web Reference: http://thefrontsteps.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
run it is a scam.......contact a local real estate agent instead.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2008
Dear Richard

You should make payments to the bank and only to the bank. If you are facing a foreclosure, it is best to save your credit. This is when a short sale will help you. (Short sales occur only when the mortgage owed is higher than the value of your property). It is the job of the agent to negotiate with the bank to market the property at face value and the bank will accept said value. There should be no fees from your agent in any shape or form as he/she will paid his/her commission at the settlement table . Even said commission is paid to the agent by the bank. I think that your agent is trying to take advantage of you.
Web Reference: http://suzekelly.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2007
Richard
You have some good advice. Some question:
Why are you selling?
Do you HAVE to sell?
Why not keep one?
A REALTOR agrees to abide by a code of ethics. The case you have mentioned violates many tenants of the code.

You need a strategy. You create a plan, measure your options, then move forward. There is a proverb
"wise is the man with many counselors". Ask questions, give careful consideration, then report this fellow to the Dept;. of Real Estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
Contact
I want to add a link to free credit counseling service. This fine organization has been around for a long time and is very knowledable about the current crisis in the financial/mortgage market.
I have also worked with MEDA (Mission Economic Development Association) in SF. They also have a counseling service that will work with you and advise you for free.
Web Reference: http://www.cccssf.org/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2007
Jed Lane; Fog…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Nope. No one can assure your lender will accept a short sale. Realtors make a commission even off of short sales. I would suggest you find a local competetent Realtor and discuss. If this person doesn't have money to pay his staff, how sucessful can he be?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2007
If it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is......
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2007
Richard, Do Not Stop making your mortgage payments. That is a huge no-no. Something does not sound right. Get another opinion from a local professional. This sends up red flags and alarms everywhere.

Yes, you may have to be behind in your payments to qualify for short sale. This will make an impact on your credit. Do you have any other options? Can you rent one of them out? Look harder at what it is you really need. If payments are too high, have you talked to your lender about options?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2007
Hi Richard,

I echo the sentiments of my collegues. One important thing you and your fiance need to know is that if you have any other assets then a short sale will not be possible no matter what "Mr. Helpful" says. Since you say that you and she own two properties then you have assets. If you have been making your payments and are not already behind, before you start yourself on the slippery slope toward foreclosure contact your lender and see if they can be of any help. Ask to speak to someone in the "Loss Mitigation Department" and see if they can help.

A reputable real estate professional would NEVER tell you to quit making your payments and if they are a member of the National Association of Realtor's it would indeed be a clear cut violation of ethics - a HUGE no-no.

When you are working with a reputable Realtor you should not pay ANY fees up front as they get paid only after their job is completed and the job is not done until your home is sold and escrow is successfully closed.

Unfortunately, I am based in Los Angeles County or I would offer to see if I could help you personally, however I am too far away to be effective for you. I would however be most happy to put you in touch with an experienced, reputable, and trustworthy LICENSED Realtor in your area who might be able help you.

I would also be happy to answer any questions you might have if you wish to give me a call or send me an email.

I hope I have been of help.

Take care,

Tisza Major-Posner, Realtor, Keller WIlliams Claremont/La Verne (909) 837-8922
Web Reference: http://Route66Living.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
Report this fool to the DRE (Department of Real Estate) It is absolutely illegal to charge upfront fees without prior DRE approval. First find out if he has a valid license and then if he does drop the dime on the sleazy . . . Here is a link to the DRE web site. http://www.dre.cahwnet.gov/
Be sure you find one of us that cares for you and is willing to help you. It could be that you need to re-fi and not sell now, it could be you need to change your plans - all options should be explored with you making the final decision.
Good luck to you and thank you for asking this question on this forum.
Web Reference: http://www.jedlane.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
Jed Lane; Fog…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
MVP'08
Contact
I agree with Michael, make no upfront money contributions. Short sales are handled by your Realtor and the bank. I have not seen people ever ask for upfront fee's, and if there is credit repair done, it is usually after the settlement has already been attached to your credit report.

Yes how did this person find you, make suer you talk to a Realtor, that has experience in short sales, not that they have knowledge of how it works. Actual experience. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
Run, fleeing into the night from this joker!! We just had a broker/managers meeting in the NorthBay and we had over half of the brokers negociating "short-sales" WITHOUT having to "stop" making your payments. That this "short-sales specialist" asked you to do this is proves to me he is sleeze!! He can't be a Realtor or Licensee and be advising you as to these actions. Taking a "fee" upfront needs prior DRE approval. Telling you to now be "late" on your mortgage payments is ridiculous.
But there is more here than meets the eye. Why are you going "shor"? How did this "shark" get your names? Are you in default on one of the "lofts"? Did you call him? Any Realtor/Licensee can conduct a "Short-Sale" for you without up front fees. Did you sign anything with this clown? Last bit of advice--you cannot REPAIR your credit!!
Tell this guy to take a long walk off Pier 39!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
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